The Museum of Islamic Art: Form, Perception, and Environment

By M. Salim Ferwati.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Islamic Arab societies have a distinctive but culturally common system of beliefs, attitudes, and values that over time have formed traditional expression. These traditions have been articulated through art, architecture, community designs, social institutions, and conventional behavior; all of which form spatial patterns. Knowledge regarding Islamic and Arab architecture is in hand through numerous publications. Recently, in Arab Gulf countries, the conservation of local identity has become the center of attention. Their attempts have been specifically demonstrated through the conversion of significant historical buildings into museums or applying neo-vernacular architectural styles in newly built museums. One might question their utilization as specifically museums. Museums symbolize cultural values, wealth, global status, and a center attraction. Contemporary architecture of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar is a conspicuous example that is going to be the focus of this research. Even though the building was designed by I.M. Pei, a well-known architect who is foreign to Islamic design principles and to Qatari local architecture, it is one of the most protuberant landmarks in the city and one of the emblematical icons of neo-vernacular Qatari architecture that catalyzes urban rejuvenation. By studying the key to success of the architecture of the Museum of Islamic Art, this research suggests an approach for the analysis of museum study.

Keywords: Physical Appraisal, Environmental Appraisal, Perceptional Appraisal, Pragmatic Analysis

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.55-71. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.443MB).

Dr M. Salim Ferwati

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Dr. Ferwati obtained in 1982 a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the Architectural Faculty at the University of Damascus, Syria; in 1988, a Master’s Degree in Urban Design from the University of Kansas, USA; in 1993 a Ph.D. degree in Cultural /Behavioral Geography at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Between 1996 and 1999 he was active in three areas: teaching, architectural documentation of 80 historical buildings, and running his own architectural firm. In 1999, he moved to Saudi Arabia, to work at the College of Architecture and Planning at King Faisal University as a lecturer. In August 2005, he joined the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University as an assistant professor to teach and help in establishing the new architectural engineering program. From September 2011 and up to present, he, as an assistant professor, joined the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Qatar University to participate in teaching both graduate and under graduate students. His research interests are related to spatial behavior as generator of spatial pattern, space perception, and urban semiotics.

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